Friday, November 20, 2015

Practice or 10,000-Hour Rule in Photography.

“I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true -- hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don't love something, then don't do it.” Ray Bradbury
The concept of practice is one of the most important principles of success.

Do you remember when you were once a beginner or a newbie at photography (or sport, dancing, writing)?
How did you become good at it? Were you waiting for inspiration? Were you looking for the “magic formula” that could give you the result?

The 10,000-Hour Rule was developed by the psychologist Anders Ericsson and popularized by author Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers. The basic principle is this: achieving exceptional expertise in any field requires at least 10,000 hours of practice. According to Gladwell, the successful people in the world such as The Beatles and Bill Gates have dedicated at least 10,000 hours to their craft.
10,000 hours is about 417 days (assuming you are shooting without any break). If you shoot for at least an hour a day, it will take you 10,000 days (or more than 27 years) to master photography.
There is nothing magical about the 10,000 figure. Don’t let that number discourage you.
The key to success is not a number (5,000 hours, 10,000 or 50,000). The key to success is practice, focusing on improvement.

There is an advice on writing which might be closely related to photography.
Writers give themselves a rule to write at least a few pages a day.
Photographers can apply this rule as well. If we are not inspired to take photos every day, we can make a goal to take at least a few photos every day.

Before you take a photo ask some questions:
What is drawing me to make this picture?
What story do I want to tell with my image?
Is there a way to simplify this picture?
How can I make the 2nd, 3rd or 10th frame better?
Spend time looking at your photos.  Try to figure out what was good about your photography, what didn’t work and what should have been changed. 

There is no level where you’re “too good to practice.” 
“If I miss one day of practice, I notice it. If I miss two days, the critics notice it. If I miss three days, the audience notices it.”
Ignacy (Jan) Paderewski

The following quotes have been attributed to practice.

“To give yourself the best possible chance of playing to your potential, you must prepare for every eventuality. That means practice.” Seve Ballesteros

“I don't know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough. I still wonder if somebody -- somewhere -- was practicing more than me.” Larry Bird

“It's not necessarily the amount of time you spend at practice that counts; it's what you put into the practice.” Eric Lindros

“Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” Vince Lombardi

“Everything is practice.” Pele

“Practice is the best master.” Latin proverb

“My father taught me that the only way you can make good at anything is to practice, and then practice some more.” Pete Rose

“You play the way you practice.” Pop Warner

“A genius! For 37 years I’ve practiced fourteen hours a day, and now they call me a genius!” Pablo Sarasate

“I am still learning.”  Michelangelo (at age 87)

Thank you for reading! I would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment and to share.